The third Test at Ranchi is evenly poised as India have just lost one wicket and scored 120 for 1 at Day 2, Stumps. Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay hold fort in the last session keeping the wickets intact, not allowing Australian bowlers to capitalise after KL Rahul’s wicket. Rahul misses yet another well-deserved hundred as he got out for 67 to the comeback-man Pat Cummins who was delighted to get his first wicket upon return. India are trailing by 331 runs at the end of Day 2’s play.

Earlier it was Ravindra Jadeja who sent the Australians in deja-vu by taking four wickets on Day 2 along with a runout he enforced of Josh Hazlewood. He drew first blood on Day 1 as well. He picked up all ther three wickets in the first session including the wicket of Glenn Maxwell who made his maiden Test century.

Day 2, Stumps! 

16:36 IST Steve O’Keefe to bowl the last over, Vijay on strike, two forward blocks from him on consecutive deliveries. He hits the third one back to O’Keefe, no run. On the next ball, he makes room and tries to drive it towards covers, finds the fielder, no run. Anotehr block from Vijay followed by a nudge towards point, a maiden over as Vijay turns cautious in the last over of Day 2. Stumps!

16:34 IST Lyon continues, Vijay comes down the track and hits it past Lyon, the ball runs along the ground for four. A review! Australians appeal for a bat-pad catch at short-leg. The review goes the India way, Vijay survives. He plays two more dot deliveries, blocks one and turns one towards square leg, no runs scored. He takes a single towards mid-off. Pujara on strike, he defends the ball, no run.

16:28 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike. A good length delivery defended by Pujara on the front foot. An on drive by Pujara towards mid-on, no run on that occasion either. He pushes the ball between covers and point, no run. Short ball from Hazlewood, Pujara keeps it down, wants a run but Vijay says no.

The last thing India want at this stage is a runout. Ajinkya Rahane is well padded up but Pujara says with his bat that we don’t need yoo, finds the gap on the onside and hits the inswinging delivery for a boundary. A Short delivery to end the over, Pujara drops his wrists and lets the ball go into Wade’s hands.

16:24 IST Lyon continues, Vijay on strike. Another bat and pad together, defensive shot, no run. He plays the next one on the onside, no run. A flick off the next one towards deep mid-wicket for a single. Pujara on strike, pitched up delivery, well defended going back into the crease. He works the ball towards deep mid-wicket for a single. A cover drive from Vijay, no run.

16:20 IST Hazlewood back into the attack, Pujara on strike, nice front foot block from him, no run. Another inswinging delivery, Pujara pushes it towards mid-on, no run. Pujara watches the ball closely as it goes into Wade’s gloves, his concentration is bang on. A bit short of the length that one, Pujara nudges it towards point, no run. This time he opens the face of the bat towards short covers, no run. Another one played towards point, no run, a maiden from Hazlewood.

16:15 IST Lyon continues, Vijay comes forward but the bowl did not turn, a huge lbw shout but the replay shows there was an inside edge, no run. He tries to work the next one towards square leg, no run. He pushes the next one back to the bowler, no run. This time he goes deep into the crease and takes a single towards square leg. Pujara on strike, Lyon comes over the wicket, he too works the ball towards square leg for a single. That one hurried onto Vijay but he does well to get bat on that, no run.

16:12 IST Cummins continues, Pujara on strike, he tries to guide it towards third man but could not time it, no run. A fuller delivery from Cummins, Pujara defends it, no run. Short ball from Cummins, Pujara ducks that one, no run. This was directed towards pads, Pujara flicks it for a couple of runs. He tries to work the ball towards onside again but finds the fielder, no run. He pushes the ball towards covers but the fielder cuts it off, no run.

16:06 IST Lyon comes into bowl, Vijay on strike, he plays the first one towards point, no run. Vijay sweeps and sweeps hard, a thick top edge off the bat goes four a boundary, Lyon is not happy. FOUR! back to back boundaries, this time he gets the ball in the middle of the bat, sweeps it for square leg boundary for four. Lyon comes round the wicket, he defends that one. FOUR! Vijay takes Lyon on, this time scoops the ball towards fine leg, the fielder tries hard but could not cut that off! He plays that one cautiously towards short leg, no run.

16:02 IST Cummins continues, Rahul on strike. He defends the ball on offside offstump. OUT! Rahul departs, the short ball gets the better of him. A clear edge as Rahul could not drop his wrists. Cummins is delighted, he has got the wicket upon his comeback. No need to review that one.

Cheteshwar Pujara comes into bat, he flicks the first ball towards square leg, no run. He guides the next one towards third man for a couple of runs, good running between the wickets. He pushes the next one towards mid-on, no run. Another dot delivery to end the over, a wicket and two runs from it.

15:59 IST WICKET! KL Rahul c Mathew Wade b Pat Cummins 67 (102)

15:56 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay plays that one with a straight bat, no run. Another defensive block from him, no run. He drives the ball but could not find the gap. He hits the next ball back to the bowler, no run. A maiden over from O’Keefe, Vijay continues his defensive mode.

15:54 IST Short ball on the off side from Cummins, Rahul drops his wrists and lets the ball go into Wade’s hands. A shorter delivery on the onside, Rahul does well to work that one to fine leg for a single. Vijay on strike now, he defends the ball, no run. Whoa! beats the offside edge off the bat, Cummins is bowling a good line and length. He shoulders arms on the next ball, no run. A fuller delivery from Cummins, Vijay plays it towards fine leg for a single.

15:50 IST O’Keefe continues, Rahul on strike. He is having this at ease today, takes a couple of couples in the first three balls and then takes a single. Vijay plays out the rest of the over, no runs scored.

15:46 IST A mildly slower delivery form Cummins makes Rahul mistime the ball but no damage done. A defensive block off the next delivery, no run. He takes a single towards the third man guiding the slower ball. A bouncer from Cummins, Vijay decides to duck that one, no run. Two more dot deliveries there, no runs scored, a good over from Cummins.

15:42 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay takes a single off the second ball. Rahul is being cautious despite playing himself in, he takes a single off the last ball of the over and retains strike. Good over for O’Keefe.

15:39 IST Cummins continues, Vijay on strike, he dabs the ball towards point and takes a quick single. Rahul on strike, he flicks it towards mid-wicket but finds the fielder, no run. This time he tries to work the ball towards fine leg, no run as the fielder cuts that off. Pulls out of a drive and manages to hit it back to the bowler, no run. More dot balls to end the over.

15:34 IST Hazlewood continues, Rahul on strike. He pushes the ball towards mid-wicket, no run. Another block as he hits the next one towards covers, no runs on that occasion either. Next ball, he hits it past the bowler but finds the fielder, no run. He takes a couple of runs off the second last ball. FOUR! Rahul won’t miss those. Easy pickings for him as the ball was asking to be hit on the leg side.

15:26 IST The comeback-man Cummins is back into the attack, a good length ball, Rahul comes forward and defends it. Rahul gets int he line of the ball and defends it, no run. He nudges the next ball towards covers, no run. Another flick towards mid-wicket, no run. A full toss from Cummins, Rahul guides it towards gully for a single. Vijay on strike, he works it towards mid-on, no run.

15:21 IST Hazlewood continues, Vijay on strike, he flicks the ball towards mid-wicket, no run. Bouncer! that one almost surprised Vijay but was off target, no run. He lets the next ball go into Wade’s hands, no run. He hits the next one right back to Hazlewood, no run. Another flick towards mid-wicket, no run. Stays in his crease on that occasion and defends it with straight bat, no run, a maiden from Hazlewood.

15:17 IST Lyon continues, Vijay on strike, he hits it back to the bowler, no run. He sweeps the next one for a single towards backward square lg. Rahul on strike, comes forward and the ball goes one bounce into Wade’s hands, no run. Meanwhile, Kohli is seen with something taped on his shoulder. FOUR! Fifty for Rahul! his fourth in this Test series, a beautiful sweep shot for a boundary, he has been consistnet for India. He plays the next ball towards covers, no run. Another dot ball to end the over.

15:13 IST Hazlewood continues, Vijay on strike, he watches the ball closely as it goes into Wade’s gloves, no run. He flicks the next one towards onside for a single. Another inswinging delivery, Rahul plays it towards mid-off, no run. Edged and four! almost got the wicket there. The ball takes an edge off Rahul’s bat and goes through slips for a boundary. Lucky for Rahul, he moves onto 46. Another flick towards square leg for a single, moves onto 48 now. Rahul on strike, forward foot defense from him, no run.

15:08 IST Lyon comes round the wicket to Rahul again, the ball hits Rahul’s pads, no run. He cuts the ball towards point, takes a single. Vijay on strike, Lyon comes over the wicket, a defensive shot from Vijay. Aah! a cheeky shot from Vijay, the ball takes a thick edge and races towards the third man boundary for four. He takes a single towards backward square leg. Rahul on strike a front foot defensive block from him, no run. He is inching closer to anothe half-century in this series.

15:04 IST Josh Hazlewood into the attack, a sharp inswinging delivery hits Vijay on the pads but the impact is outside the offstump line, Umpire says no to the appeal. Next ball, Vijay stays in the crease and defends it, no run. FOUR! A mesmerising cover drive from Vijay, hits through the line for a boundary, no need to run for that! He shoulders arms again as the ball poses no threat. Another inswinging delivery, a similar line to that of Ishant Sharma bowled, he closes the face of the bat on that one, no run. He shoulders arms again, a dot ball to end the over.

15:00 IST Lyon comes round the wicket to Rahul. He comes forward on a pitched-up delivery and defends it, no run. This time he goes back into the crease and tucks it straight to leg slip fielder, no run. Rahul has some problem with the side screen, Lyon pulls off from the delivery there. He bowls again, Rahul nudges it towards square leg for a single. A straighter delivery from Lyon, Vijay comes forward and the ball takes a faint edge which lands safely. The ball hits the pads on that occasion, turn and bounce for Lyon. A single towards long-on on the last ball.

14:56 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay comes forward and defends it, no run. This time he plays with a straight bat, no run. He takes a single off the next ball towards long-on. Rahul on strike, another darted in delivery from him, a defensive shot, no run. This time he goes back into the crease and defends, no run. A drive through covers on the last ball to take a single.

14:54 IST Lyon continues, Vijay on strike, he tries to slog the ball but misses it completely, no run there for him. He is cautious on the next ball and defends the ball with a straight bat. He pushes the next ball towards the bowler, no run. Vijay sweeps the next ball towards backward square leg for a single. Rahul takes a single off the next ball followed by a defensive block from Vijay as Lyon comes round the wicket to him.

14:51 IST O’Keefe continues, Rahul on strike, a darted in delivery, defended well on back foot. He takes a single towards mid-wicket.  Vijay on strike, he tucks the ball towards backward square leg, no run. Another darted in delivery, Rahul does well to get bat on that and guide it towards long leg boundary fo four. He takes a couple of runs on the second last delivery, followed by a dot delivery at the end.

14:47 IST Lyon continues, Rahul goes back into the crease and pushes the ball towards mid-on, no run. A big stride forward from him on the next ball, plays a defensive shot, no run. Shuffles across this time and gets in the line of the ball and defends it on back foot, no run. A rather short-arm jab from Rahul, flicking the ball towards onside for a single. Vijay on strike, he pushes the ball back to Lyon, no run.

14:44 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay on strike, he hits it along the ground but back to the bowler, no run. He offers a defensive shot off the next one. Next ball, he is happy to shoulder arms. He drives on the next and hits it towards the covers, no run. Two more dot deliveries to follow, a maiden over from Lyon.

14:42 IST Lyon continues, Vijay goes back into the crease and defends it, next ball, he watches the ball closely go into Wade’s hands.. Another defensive block followed by a single for Vijay. Rahul on strike, he plays the ball towards square leg for a single. Vijay on strike, he sweeps the ball for a single, three runs from the over.

14:39 IST O’Keefe continues, Rahul on strike. Edged and safe! Rahul survives as the ball takes an edge and goes wide off the slip fielder, the ball goes for a boundary. Next ball, he comes forward and plays it with a straight bat. A straighter ball from O’Keefe, Rahul tries to make room but hits it back to the bowler, no run. Next ball, Rahul brings bat and pad forward but the ball takes an inside edge toards square leg, he takes a single. Vijay on strike, he goes on back foot and pushes the ball towards covers, no run. Last ball of the over, Vijay pushes it towards long-off for a single.

14:36 IST Nathan Lyon continues, Vijay on strike. He comes forward and pushes the ball towards cover, no run. Next ball, a copy book front-foot defense, no run. Vijay goes back into the crease and plays the ball towards short mid-on, no run. He pushes the next ball back to Lyon, no run. He places his front foot across and sweeps the ball towards backward square leg for a single. Rahul on strike, he plays the ball towards long-on, takes a single.

14:22 IST Steve O’Keefe continues, Rahul on strike, he shoulders arms on that one, no run. This time he comes half forward and defends the ball, no run. Another front foot block from Rahul, trying to settle himself in. This time he goes a bit back into the crease and cuts it to the point but finds the fielder. FOUR! Rahul succeeds in doing what he intended on the previous ball, finds the gap between covers and point as the ball goes for a boundary. He takes a single off the last ball towards mid-wicket.

14:29 IST Players are back into the field after tea break, will Vijay-Rahul put on a good opening partnership? Let’s find out!

14:10 IST Players head out for tea break!

14:05: Rahul punches a short ball from Cummins of the backfoot FOUR. It seems that one boundary has forced Cummins to go full, he is lucky Rahul did not get it off the middle of the bat. Rahul was dismissed at Pune chasing a full ball at Pune, he should be mindful of that. FOUR, of a thickish outside edge. Then he drops the ball on the off side and picks up a single, perfect! Rahul is maturing.

This could be the last over.

14:02 IST: Vijay picks up a single, it is a spread out field. Rahul is happy defending. He should resist any temptations now. Rahul too drops on the off side and picks a single. Good to see them trusting their partners and believing in rotation of strike.

Spinner introduced at the stroke of tea. Keefe!

Probably two more overs before tea, Rahul and Vijay have their work cut out.

13:57 IST : As expected Rahul gets it going with a FOUR, he flicks Cummins it on the leg side. Rahul is happy to apply himself. Rahul is steady in defense.

13:54 IST: Josh is making Rahul play by bowling on his fourth stump. Indians one felt were bowling to wide. Knowing Rahul, one feels there is a big shot coming and that has been his downfall. Rahul pulls to get a couple.

13:49 IST: The openers work is to blunt the new ball. That is exactly what they want to do. Cummins is also getting good bounce and carry from this pitch. Rahul lets one go to the keeper. The openers are looking cautious and why shouldn’t they be trailing by 398 on a tricky wicket at Ranchi. Cummins is showing great consistency and he is making the batsman play. Murali Vijay lets that one go.

13:45 IST: That straightened and missed the feather of Vijay’s bat, Josh is coming close. There is an appeal but the replays showed the ball was slipping down the leg stump. Vijay has finally got off the mark. Rahul takes guard, again picks up a risky single, that too to Maxwell who is a livewire.

13:39 IST: Rahul should not look to be too adventurous, an application is the key. Cummins is on the money straight away. Cummins has come into the team after six years, he will look to make a mark. Rahul is steady in defense. Cummins is presenting the seam beautifully. Cummins has really hit the right lines, does seem like he is making a comeback. He is bowling probing lines. A maiden to start proceedings for Cummins.

13:34 IST: All in readiness, Josh has the red cherry and Rahul is on strike. India pick a risky single first up. There was no need for that, luckily Keefe missed the stumps. India needs to set small targets, like going into tea without losing a wicket and then plan it from there on. Two slips and a gully, Vijay is happy to leave the ball outside the off stump. Vijay finally presents the bat and plays it of the middle.

Jadeja ends up with five, Umesh finishes with three. Virat Kohli is seen doing shadow practice inside the dressing room, that is a good sign. India have a tall mountain to climb.


13:20 IST: Play resumes, Smith denies a single. Jadeja would want a six-fer and now he wants Josh on strike. They scamper for a couple, Jadeja hits the stumps and it seems Australia are all out for 451. RUN OUT

Have a drink!

13:13 IST: Umesh to Smith, he throws his hands at a wide delivery only to miss it. Smith denies the single as expected, he wants to farm the strike. Umesh bowls a slower one, Smith in denial mode, refuses the single. He finally takes a single of the fourth ball, Josh has to keep two balls out. He keeps it out.

13:08 IST: Jadeja continues Smith rotates the strike. Will Smith up the ante to get to 200 before Indians take two remaining wickets. He needs Lyon to block, block and block. Lyon is of the mark with a single. Smith pulls out his reverse sweep but finds the fielder. He picks a single. Jadeja strikes, its five for him. OUT. Lyon is back, Smith will now be questioning himself. Will he now try to take strike all by himself? He should farm all the strike if he has 200 in his sights. No. 11 Hazlewood walks out to the centre.

Ashwin should come in and look to wrap up things.

13:00 IST: Umesh has a drink, Mukund is on the field, no signs of Virat Kohli yet. Smith picks up a single to sweeper cover. 50 partnership up with that. OUT! Keefe holes out in the deep trying to hook Umesh. Keefe scored an invaluable 25. Yadav falls on his delivery stride, luckily no injuries. Lyon keeps the last one out.

If Warner is Ashwin’s bunny, then India is Steve Smith’s!

12:56 IST: Ashwin bowls, Jadeja misfields allowing a second run. Ashwin is finally tossing the ball, that is the only way to get Keefe out it seems. Keefe picks up a quick single. Short and wide allowing Smith the single, that is the mindset now. Appeal of the last ball but no conclusion.

12:53 IST: Is Virat Kohli’s sheer absence pegging India back? Nothing bothers Smith as he takes a single. Hint of reverse for Umesh, but nothing drastic. Are Indians playing a bowler short, would Mishra have added the right blend to this attack? A lot can be said now but its too late. This resistance by Keefe must be hurting the Indians. Rahane might also be feeling out of place.

12: 48 IST: Ashwin returns, Rahane is getting the field right. Smith is looking good to get 200, which would be a statement, after the DRS rubbish. Smith is making cricket look ridiculously easy.

12:44 IST: Yadav too is thinking negatively it seems. He is bowling wide to Smith with protection in the deep, allowing him an easy single. He should now look to attack Keefe. It also seems Indians have given up on the idea of getting Smith dismissed. He bowls on the stumps, Keefe gets his bat down in time. Smith has an average of 61.36, which is god-like, literally.

Anil Kumble was needed to wrap up the tail.

12:42 IST: Jadeja continues, he has a slip and a silly point. Jadeja runs through his overs at the rate of naughts. Round the wicket, Jadeja is struggling to get spin.

Can Rahane or Kohli do a Smith?

12:36 IST: Ashwin’s shoulders are drooping it seems. Throughout the innings, Ashwin has looked out of shape. And hence there is a bowling change, Yadav is back. Can he reverse it to get Smith? Smith at ease plays it to the sweeper on the off-side to get a single. He is just piling on the agony. It seems even Keefe is set now, he guides one to third man to return the strike. Smith picks up another single. Its single on the offer.

12:34 IST: Smith drops and takes a single. Keefe has strike and Jadeja is back looking to get wickets, he has a silly point as well. Keefe Cuts, cuts well to get a FOUR. Keefe advance only to defend. Jadeja is bowling tight, wicket to wicket lines.

12:32 IST: Ashwin is concentrating on the fourth stump. Rahane has opted for an in-out field, which is the right way to go. Keefe gets a FOUR, its streaky misses everything but a boundary nevertheless. They will take it however it comes.

Smith has become a thorn in India’s flesh.

12:29 IST: Jadeja is getting the ball to turn viciously from outside the leg stump, but that is not bothering the Aussies. He comes round the wicket, change of angle, there is an appeal but is is straying down the leg side.

12:27 IST: Spin from both ends as Smith is looking to change gears it seems. Smith has exactly demonstrated how to bat in such conditions. Hope the Indians will take a leaf out of his book. Keefe goes down town, gets a FOUR. India is wary of the scoreboard and is hence looking to mix caution with aggression.

12:26 IST: Jadeja continues, it is simple he is targeting the rough outside the right handed Keefe’s leg stump. There are two slips positioned for an air borne ball. He breezes through another over.

12:24 IST: Smith has got a good grip of the match and is powering Australia to 500.

12:10 IST: The players walk out to the middle, everything is ready to start.

12:00 IST: There is a huddle that has taken place, Anil Kumble is giving final tips to the boys. The strategy would be to wrap up the visitors for as less than possible. May be 20 runs.

It has been a session that has belonged to the visitors, despite Ravindra Jadeja’s 3-fer. Smith is carrying the battle on his shoulders and the situation looks good for the visitors, who would look to get 500 in the first innings. The pitch has played rather well, barring a couple of balls that spun a mile. But no demons as of now.

Lunch Break! 

11:31 IST Jadeja to bowl the final over before lunch break, Smith edges the first ball, fell short of the slip-fielder, lucky there. He takes a couple of runs on the next ball, good running between the wickets. He takes a single off the next ball. O’Keefe on strike, he plays out the rest of the deliveries, no runs scored. It’s lunch break on Day 2.

11:29 IST Ashwin continues, Smith defends the first ball and takes a single off the next towards long on. Steve O’Keefe comes into bat. He takes a single off the second ball. Smith too rotates the strike and retains strike for the next over.

11:24 IST Jadeja continues, Wade once again gets on one knee and attempts a wild slog, misses it completely, Saha dislodges the bails but he was well in. Wade goes for the sweep again but finds the fielder, takes a single. Smith on strike, he makes room and guides the ball towards point for a single.

Edged and gone! that one did not turn at all, beats Wade as ball goes in Saha’s hands. Another wicket for Jadeja! Pat Cummins comes into bat, he pushes the ball towards covers, no run. OUT! Straight through the gate, Jadeja gets another wicket, his second in an over. He has been bowling really well today. Cummins is a goner!

11:23 IST WICKET! Pat Cummins b Ravindra Jadeja 0(2)

11:21 IST WICKET Glenn Maxwell c Wriddhiman Saha b Ravindra Jadeja 37 (50)

11:18 IST Ashwin continues, Wade on strike, he gets half forward and plays the ball towards off side, point fielder cuts it off, no run. He gets down the wicket, changes his mind and plays it towards short mid-wicket, no run. This time he takes a single, piercing the field on the onside. Smith on strike, he defends the ball on the onside. Another defensive block from Smith, he tries to flick the last ball but finds forward square leg fielder, no run.

11:14 IST Jadeja continues, Smith plays the first two balls with his pads, he guides the next one behind square leg for a single. Wade on strike, he pushes it back to Jadeja on back foot. FOUR! a cracking shot from Wade, he has decided to attack Jadeja, gets on one knee and sweeps that one, much like Mathew Hayden. He takes a single towards mid-wicket and retains strike.

11:11 IST Ashwin continues, Smith on strike, he goes back into the crease and defends the first ball. He guides the next one towards backward square leg for a single. Wade on strike, he comes forward and defends it, no run. Wade comes down the wicket this time, plays the ball on full and guides it towards square leg boundary for four. Fielding change from Ashwin, Wade nudges the ball to the left of Ashwin, no run. Another defensive block to end the over.

11:07 IST Jadeja continues, Wade tries to sweep the first ball but could not time it, no run. He plays the next one towards covers and takes a single. Smith on strike, he is being cautious again, plays three dot deliveries as Jadeja bowls a similar length coming round the wicket. Jadeja deviates from his line a bit and Smith nudges the ball for a single towards backward square leg.

11:05 IST Ashwin has been introduced into the attack, he bowls a dot delivery to start his spell. Next ball, Wade gets down on one knee andguides the ball fine, takes a couple of runs. He defends the next ball coming forward, no run. FOUR! he gets down the wicket and lofts the ball over mid-wicket for a four. He defends the next ball followed by a single towards covers, retains strike.

11:02 IST Jadeja continues, it seems that Ajinkya Rahane is having a hard time on the field. Just two singles from his over. Smith is still batting with resillience. Wade has shown an intent to score runs and play his natural game to put pressure on Indian bowlers.

10:59 IST Yadav continues, now Wade seems to be getting in the groove. He scores another boundary on the first ball, has scored three boundaries already. He takes a single on the fourth ball, Smith returns the favour and retains strike.

10:55 IST Jadeja to Smith, this over turned out to be expensive as the ball went past Saha, the batsmen ran hard between the wickets and take 3 runs. Wade on strike, a boundary from the over. I repeat a bowling change is needed now, Ashwin needs to attack Wade.

10:50 IST Umesh Yadav back into the attack, Smith on strike. He takes a single towards square leg, brings Wade on strike. He goes on back foot and defends that one, Yadav too is coming round the wicket to Wade. FOUR! elegant looking drive from Wade, goes through the off side fielders for four. He takes a single off the next delivery. Wade too goes back into the crease and takes a single. Wade defends the last ball, 7 runs from Umesh’s over.

10:46 IST Jadeja continues, Smith on strike, he presents a forward block on the first ball followed by a single towards point. Wade takes a single off the next ball. One more single to end the over, just three runs from it. It’s time to bring Ashwin into the fold.

10:42 IST Ishant Sharma continues, Smith on strike. He goes back into the crease and guides the ball towards point for a single. Wade on strike, Ishant is coming round the wicket to the left-hander. He flicks the ball towards square leg, no run. This time, Wade gets behind the ball and presents a straight bat, no run.

Another defensive block from him. He plays the next one towards mid-off, no run as it goes straight to the fielder. Last ball, Wade move across the stumps in an attempt to eliminate LBW appeal, defends the last ball, no run. Just a single from Ishant’s over.

10:36 IST Jadeja to Wade. He bowls a tight line not giving the new batsmsn anything to work on. He is iching to score runs. After facing five dot deliveries he gets down the track and hits it past mid-wicket fielder for a four.

Drinks Break!

10:31 IST Ishant Sharma continues, Wade on strike. He takes a single off the first ball of the over and gets off the mark. Smith on strike, edged! the ball did not carry to Saha after taking an edge, Ishant Sharma’s celebrations cut short. He defends the next ball going back into the crease, presenting a straight bat. FOUR! Smith moves across again and the ball goes towards mid-wicket boundary for four. He defends the inswinging delivery from Ishant. Last ball, FOUR! he punches the ball on the backfoot, sweeper cover fielder tried to cut it off but the ball wins the race to the boundary.

10:26 IST Jadeja continues, Maxwell on strike, he pushes the first ball along the ground, Jadeja collects it, no run. OUT! plump in front, India have got their man, Maxwell is a goner soon after surviving a runout scare. Jadeja is delighted, he has drawn first blood in the first session once again. He departs soon after sconring his maiden Test century. Mathew Wade comes in to bat, he takes a single off the second ball he faces. Smith plays out the rest of the deliveries with caution, good over for India, a wicket from it.

10:21 IST WICKET! Glenn Maxwell lbw Ravindra Jadeja 104 (185)

10:21 IST Ishant Sharma is back into the attack, Maxwell on strike, he drives the first ball towards mid-off, straight ot the fielder, no run. He goes back this time and defends a good length delivery directed at stumps. He takes a single on the next ball towards square leg. Smith on strike, he shuffles across and flicks the ball towards square, a mis-up there. Oh my! India missed a runout chance, Ashwin throws the ball at bowler’s end and Ishant was not there to collect it, that would have been an easy runout. Ashwin throws his hands in the air in disappointment.

10:15 IST Jadeja continues, Smith on strike. The left-armer is looking dangerous today, not giving the batsmen anything to work on. Another maiden over from him, Smith continues his defensive run. Seems like he might get the breakthrough India needs by keeping pressure on both the batsmen.

10:11 IST Umesh Yadav continues, Smith on strike. he drives the full-pitched delivery towards mid-on, no run. He plays the next one towards mid-off, finds the fielder, no run. Next ball, he goes back into the crease and defends it, no run. Smith takes a single towards fine leg and brings Maxwell on strike, he is on 99.

He stays back in his crease and pushes the back of the length delivery towards deep mid-on, no run. Edged and safe, goes through slip fielder’s hands as the ball goes towards the boundary. Maxwell gets to this maiden century! He takes his helmet off and kisses it, raises his hands in the air acknowledging the crowd and his teammates in the dressing room.

10:07 IST Jadeja continues, he is making Maxwell try hard to get that one run to get to his century. Maxwell too is trying to sneak a single from somewhere as the ball is going straight to the fielders. He is beaten on the fifth delivery by Jadeja, an appeal from hi but the Umpire shakes his heaed. A maiden over from Jadeja, Maxwell still one run away from glory.

10:04 IST Just a single from Yadav’s over, he has been bowling good lengths today. His aggression can be estimated from the first ball he bowled to Maxwell which broke his bat. Meanwhile, Maxwell moves to 99, just one run away from the three figures.

10:00 IST Ravindra Jadeja into the attack, Smith on strike. a well bowled maiden from him as he bowls a tight line to Smith. The Australian skipper too is not trying to do anything extraordinary here.

9:58 IST Yadav continues, Maxwell on strike. He is trying to get boundaries now, you can’t keep Maxwell quite for too long. Four dot deliveries followed by very good running from Smith-Maxwell, pick up a couple of runs. FOUR! Maxwell is on a roll, he gets to 98, just two runs away from the magical number.

9:52 IST Ishant Sharma continues, Maxwell on strike. FOUR! Another edge and the ball goes racing towards the boundary. He is inching closer to his century now. He takes a single off the next delivery towards covers. Smith on strike, he plays out the rest of the over cautiously, Sharma bowls a no ball again, 6 runs from the over.

9:45 IST Umesh Yadav to Smith, he takes a single off the first ball. Yadav bowled a tight line and length through the over not giving Maxxwell a chance to score a boundary or free his arms. Maxwell too is unsually defensive, he takes a single off the last ball and retains strike.

9:42 IST Ishant Sharma continues, Steven Smith on strike. He lets the first ball go into Saha’s hands.Smith in his typical fashion gets across the crease and defends it, no run. FOUR! Smith drives and edges the ball to the wicketkeeper but it goes straight to the third man boundary for four. Maxwell does not score off the next two balls, he is still being cautious, 5 runs from Ishant’s over.

9:35 ISTUmesh Yadav to start the proceedings of Day 2, Maxwell on strike. First ball and it breaks Maxwell’s bat, whoa! I haven’t seen something like this in a long time and that too on the first ball of the day. Maxwell is laughing, he is having his bat changed. Second ball, Yadav shortens his length a bit, Maxwell plays it towards covers, no run. BOUNCER! Maxwell was surprised by the pace and bounce Yadav generated on that occasion. Two more dot deliveries as Maxwell is being cautious early on in the over. FOUR! Beautiful drive from Maxwell, first runs of the day.

9:28 IST The players are walking out in the field for the first session of play, Virat Kohli is still in the dressing room with an ice pack on his shoulder.

9:10 IST The Day 2’s game will begin shortly. Stay tuned!

8:55 IST Bad news for Virat Kohli fans and Team India as the skipper does not take part in the warm-up session actively, he was just having a chat with the team staff.

Welcome to inUth’s digital coverage of Day 2 of the third Test match at Ranchi. The Day 1’s play did not seem to favour the Virat Kohli & Co. as skipper Steven Smith and comeback-man Glenn Maxwell piled on runs and took Australia to a comfortable spot in the first innings. Smith scored his 19th Test century and with it broke many records surpassing Sachin Tendulkar to get to these many centuries in a lesser amount of Tests played. India desperately need a wicket, Maxwell can take the game away from India in a matter of session.

Virat Kohli’s availability
There are huge concerns surrounding Kohli’s fitness after he suffered a shoulder injury trying to save a boundary at the ropes. However, BCCI tried to clear the air on March 16 that there are no serious injuries, Team India need him to be on the field leading the side to infuse his passion and turn the game into the hosts’ favour. Kohli was seen with an ice pack on his shoulder in the dressing room on Day 1, his availability is crucial if India are to make a comeback in the game.

Pitch Report
They say do not judge a book my it’s cover and Ranchi pitch is an example of that as the pitch seems to be playing well for the batsmen. Despite initial breakthroughs, the batsmen were able to stabilise the innings and score runs at a good run-rate. Being a batsmen-friendly pitch till now, there is no way this pitch gets a ‘poor’ remark from anyone unlike Pune and Bengaluru pitch. There seems to be no influence of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli or Anil Kumble in selecting the pitch for the third Test.

Playing XI India: Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha(wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

Playing XI Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith(c), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade(wk), Pat Cummins, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney , Ian Gould
Third Umpire: Nigel Llong
Match Referee: Sir Richie Richardson